Theme parks, museums and escape rooms are taking careful steps to create COVID-safe environments for when they are able to reopen. For many, unusual smells are playing a big role in this.
Escape rooms, which traditionally involve hands-on puzzles for visitors to solve, have had to adapt with extra care. Modern Fables Escape Rooms in London, which hopes to reopen soon, will now provide masks and gloves, hand-sanitiser and spaces between bookings to allow for extra cleaning time. However, smells are also being embraced.
Modern Fables has worked with AromaPrime, who create smells for the likes of Alton Towers, Thorpe Park and the Natural History Museum, to concoct a range of unique fantasy scents for their escape room experiences. These aromas will be used to enhance a feeling of escapism from the lockdown world, in a COVID-safe way. Vitally, they will help ensure that immersion isn’t overshadowed by the new safety features.
The custom smells include Cthulhu’s Altar (a sulphurous, nautical scent), Modern Fables (the comforting aroma of old books, leather and wood), Hypersomnia (a clinical, industrial pong), Anhk Engine (a smell beyond description!) and Astral Plane (a fantastical aroma which is still in production).
Meanwhile, leading museums plan to use AromaPrime’s historical and nature smells to engage children, as a safe alternative to hands-on interactives.
Jay Harris, director at Modern Fables Escape Rooms, said: “Our focus has always been on totally immersing people, transporting them into the pages of a book or movie. The subtle yet very effective impact smell has on heightening this experience is a central part of what we do. As the virus continues to invade our thoughts, we feel smell is a powerful tool to create the escapism we want to achieve.”
Liam R. Findlay, themed smell consultant at AromaPrime, said: “Our smell receptors are connected to the part of the brain which processes emotions, making aroma a striking way to transport visitors into a story. This kind of escapism will be very much needed when venues begin to fully reopen. We’re pleased that AromaPrime scents are being used to enhance safe experiences and replace some of those which are no longer safe; particularly at museums, theme parks, and escape rooms.”